What is Sustainability Labels on Food Products

What is sustainability labels on food products ?

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Sustainability labeling on food and drink products informs consumers about environmental and ethical issues related to food choice and consumption. The third party certification company confirms the legitimacy of claims made by food producers and distributors, thus ensuring that the food labels are meaningful.

Sustainability labels, also give consumers the opportunity to take into account environmental and ethical considerations when making food choices. Without such labels, taking into account such factors is still possible – for example, by preferring locally produced products because of a belief that transportation of food over long distances is not good for the environment – but rests on uncertain grounds and needs more indirect inferences from other product characteristics (like the origin of the food).

Making sustainability labels available on food products opens up new ways of making choices for consumes, and how motivation and understanding together impact on use of these labels.

Understanding of the concept of sustainability was limited, but understanding of four selected labels:

  1. Fair Trade Certified,
  2. Rain forest Alliance,
  3. Carbon Footprint,
  4. Food Alliance Certified.

Understanding of four sustainability labels on food products.

 acedbc1b3e020182f43133df2fc1620c  Fair-Trade-Certified-Logo-CMYK

 Carbon Footprint Trust – 100g CO2

 Fairtrade Certified

Minimising chemical emissions when producing goods Ensuring better prices. decent working conditions and good terms for producers

Reducing deforestation of the rain forest

Ensuring that no child labour is used in the production process
Using land and water as efficiently as possible to avoid environmental damage Working to achieve lower prices for consumers
Supporting the production of more local/regional goods Ensuring good prices and working conditions for retailers an
Improve packaging and recycling options Ensuring that the food produced is distributed in a fair way
eco_certified_rainforest_alliance FAtransparent

 Rainforest Alliance Certified

 Food Alliance Certified Producers

Promoting sustainable agriculture to help farmers, while protecting the local environment Provide safe and fair working conditions
Minimising (soil) contamination when producing food Practice integrated pest management to minimize pesticide us and toxicity
Protecting wildlife in the rain forest Conserve soil and water resources
Reducing the amount of packaging used Protect biodiversity and wildlife habitat
Using land and water as efficiently as possible to avoid environmental damage Promoting sustainable agriculture to help farmers. while protecting the local environment and continually improve practices

% of respondents selecting statement as correctly describing the label. Correct answers are in bold.

What is the benefit of Sustainability Labels on food products ?

Waste reduction, speedier processes, and longer-lasting consumables. All of this translates into lower operating costs, which we are able to pass on to our customers in the form of surprisingly competitive pricing.

What is Carbon Footprint trust ?

  • An all-digital, color-managed workflow has eliminated the need for costly & wasteful proofing systems.
  • Digitally imaged printing plates are developed in  “Chem-free” processor which uses only non-toxic processing fluids that have a longer lifespan than traditional, more toxic chemicals.
  • Computerized press controls deliver accurate color fast, minimizing make ready waste and allowing us to tightly monitor quality and consistency throughout the print run.
  • Digital print capabilities for short-run jobs allow us to print only the quantity needed. In addition to the best quality available, our HP Indigo press offers non-toxic, long-lifespan consumables and uses considerably less energy than competing technologies.
  • Computerized bindery equipmentreduces waste and minimizes errors
  • In-house mailingand close proximity to a USPS sorting facility eliminates unnecessary transit for mailing jobs.
  • Eco-friendly large format solutions from HP feature recyclable consumables and materials.
  • Sustainability graphic design label printing piece include:
    • Serves multiple purposes and maximizes shelf life
    • Raises awareness by displaying environmental specs
    • Limits ink coverage and areas of solid color
    • Is printed by a printer that has environmental certification
    • Uses recycled and/or FSC-certified paper that was processed chlorine-free
    • Uses soy- and vegetable-based inks and avoids metallic inks
    • Avoids foil stamping, thermography, and lamination
    • Uses up-to-date mailing lists that accurately target your audience
  • Full Color Offset Ink

    100% Vegetable-Based Inks.

    Rather than use a traditional, cheaper, petroleum base, Jakprints uses soy- and vegetable-based inks. Our ink contains more than 30% vegetable oil and a minimum of 55% bio-derived, renewable and sustainable raw materials. It is formulated without petroleum ink solvent and has extremely low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it an environmentally friendly choice.

    Water-based, aqueous coatings make our offset products 100% biodegradable.


    We recycle all paper trimmings, unused paper products and press runs that do  not meet our high quality standards.

    Our warehouse papers and boxes are warehoused by the truckload, reducing semi-truck deliveries significantly.


    Reduce landfill waste, use distribute ink to presses.

    100% recyclable aluminum plates from our offset press are collected and recycled monthly.


    Shipping & Packaging

    Whenever possible, vendor boxes are reused in order to minimize the need for new boxes in our apparel division.

    All branded and unbranded shipping boxes are produced with at least 90% recycled material. Any virgin content is from Responsibly Forestedsources.

    Responsibly Forested Paper

    All papers are sourced from well-managed forests certified by one of the three major organizations who follow the trees, pulp and paper through the entire chain of custody.

What is Fair Trade Certified

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers, and enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. (AWA)

What is Food Alliance Certified ?

Food Alliance provides a sustainability standard for food handling operations – including packers, processors, and distributors.

Food Alliance is the most experienced sustainable agriculture certifier in the United States – with two decades of experience developing and maintaining comprehensive sustainability standards and criteria for a wide range of agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, grains, livestock, eggs, dairy, shellfish, mushrooms, grains, legumes, horticultural products, and prepared food products made with Food Alliance Certified ingredients.

Food Alliance Certified Handlers:

  • handlersealProvide safe and fair working conditions
  • Reduce use of toxic and hazardous materials
  • Reduce and recycle waste
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Ensure quality control and safety
  • Continually improve practices
  • Pack, prepare, and/or distribute Food Alliance Certified products

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Strategies aiming to reduce the use of chemical pesticides through careful monitoring for actual pest threats. Pesticides are applied in ways to pose the least possible hazard, and are used as a last resort when other controls are found inadequate. (FMC)


Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to radiant energy in order to reduce or eliminate bacteria, therefore making it more resistant to spoilage. Food is most often irradiated commercially to reduce the numbers of pathogenic microorganisms, to extend shelf-life, or to eliminate insect pests. Food that has been irradiated must either have “irradiated” as part of the product name or be labeled with the claim “treated with irradiation” or “treated with radiation” and also display the Radura symbol. The FDA requires labeling on whole irradiated fruits and vegetables. However, the FDA does not require the “treated with irradiation” label on processed foods made with irradiated ingredients or on spices.  The USDA’s rules regarding labeling of irradiated foods are similar to the FDA’s regulations, but only apply to meat and poultry. However, unlike the FDA, the USDA requires that irradiated meat ingredients in multi-ingredient products, such as sausages, must be listed in the ingredients on the package. (AWA)

Pesticide free/no spray

Implies that no pesticide residue can be found on the crop. It does not address if pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides were applied at other points in production. No independent third party verification. (AWA)